4 October 2013
The National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, on Thursday restrained Coastal Tamilnadu Power Limited from finalising bids that have been floated for execution of a 4,000-megawatt (MW) Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project in Kancheepuram district.
The project is estimated at a cost of Rs. 24,000 crore and envisages the supply of 1,600 MW to Tamil Nadu.
Two residents of Panaiyur Periakuppam filed an application seeking to set aside the environmental clearance (EC) granted by Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in 2012 to the proposed captive jetty and coal conveyor in Panaiyur where the coal-based thermal power plant will also come up. They claimed that the clearance for the thermal power plant was yet to be granted.
The applicants alleged that the power plant, captive jetty and marine terminal facility should be considered as a single project and the environment impact of the project ought to have been done as a whole and not piecemeal one environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the thermal plant and a separate one for the captive jetty.
However the authorities had conducted separate and piecemeal environment assessments and thereby failed to assess the combined impact of both these components.
D. Nagasaila, counsel for the applicants, submitted that the EIA report was not acceptable as it had failed to take into consideration the cumulative environmental impact of both the thermal power plant and the captive jetty on the coast and the marine ecology. She said that while so, pursuant to EC granted in 2012 for the part of scheme, the authorities had already called for bids.
Passing an interim order on the application, the Bench, comprising its judicial member Justice M. Chockalingam and expert member Prof R. Nagendran, said, “The Tribunal is of opinion that since the EC granted in respect of a part of scheme on November 30, 2012, which is under challenge in this proceeding, it is not worthwhile to allow Coastal Tamil Nadu Power Ltd to proceed further. If allowed, it will involve third party interest also. Hence, it is restrained from giving any final award for any part of the work to third party until further orders.”